Back panel claimed to be for Apple's low-cost iPhone shows curved design, Lightning port

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A pair of new pictures show a plastic back panel with a Lightning connector, suggesting the component could be from a pre-release build of Apple's rumored low-cost iPhone.

iPhone lite


The pictures were posted to Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo, and were highlighted by Apple.Pro. The pictures show a rear panel that appears slightly thicker than the iPhone 5, with a curved back similar to the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.

The part appears to be plastic, and one picture shows a Lightning connector inserted into the bottom of the case. The authenticity of the images is unknown, but the design does match up with rumored expectations for Apple's low-cost iPhone.

Aside from the apparent inclusion of space for a Lightning cable, the part lacks any identifiable labels that would indicate the component is built by Apple. As such, it would be easy to fabricate.

But the plastic back panel is black, which does contradict an earlier rumor that suggested Apple would only offer its high-end iPhone models in black. That report claimed the low-cost model would be available in an array of colors, offering a selection beyond the current black and white options.

iPhone lite


Reports have suggested Apple plans to launch its low-cost iPhone later this year. It's believed that the new model is intended to counter cheaper Android-based smartphones that are sold without a contract subsidy, allowing Apple to address a new market segment in which it does not currently compete.

Separately, Apple.Pro also relayed a rumor that Apple's so-called "iPhone 6," the name given to a handset expected to be released in 2014, will feature an even larger 4.7-inch display. That would be an increase from the 4-inch screen on the current iPhone 5, which itself was a boost from the 3.5-inch display found on all iPhone models prior.

The report also said that the "iPhone 6" would have body length similar to the iPhone 5. It said the device would be made out of metal but feature a "slightly rounded point" in its design.

This year's anticipated iPhone model, frequently referred to as an "iPhone 5S," is expected to keep a design largely identical to last year's iPhone 5. Rumored additions include new color options, a dual LED camera flash, and a fingerprint scanner embedded under the home button.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 64
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 973member
    Ewww
  • Reply 2 of 64
    I don't believe this for a second.
  • Reply 3 of 64
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Remind me again why a low cost iPhone has to be plastic when an iPod touch doesn't?
  • Reply 4 of 64
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    3GS reincarnate.

    And no one wants to see an array of colorful PLASTIC phones. No one.
  • Reply 5 of 64
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    Remind me again why a low cost iPhone has to be plastic when an iPhone touch doesn't?


    Did you mean iPod touch?

  • Reply 6 of 64
    poksipoksi Posts: 481member


    image  what a fake image


     


    the best possible scenario for this photo is iPhone 5 in very ugly case, blown in the middle...

  • Reply 7 of 64
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    It doesn't look anything like an Apple case, lol. Are we sure that's a Lightning connector and not micro-USB or something?

  • Reply 8 of 64
    blackbookblackbook Posts: 1,361member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Remind me again why a low cost iPhone has to be plastic when an iPhone touch doesn't?

    I wonder why they wouldn't just make a case design similar to the Touch and iPhone 1G.

    I understand that the iPhone 5 has a complicated case manufacturing process which probably adds to cost but what about a simpler aluminum design with a plastic "window" for the wireless radios, similar to the iPhone 1G and iPod touch?

    But maybe Apple would use plastic as a differentiation from the 5, but I'm afraid that such a differentiation could cheapen Apple's brand.
  • Reply 9 of 64
    chabigchabig Posts: 624member


    Why is it that leakers can't focus cameras?

  • Reply 10 of 64
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I don't believe this for a second.

    Perhaps not this image but I think there is a case to be made for Apple making a low-cost iPhone for 1) China Mobile, India, et al., and 2) removing the iPhone 4S from the lineup so that 3.5" and the 30-pin dock connector can be eliminated in favour of 4" and Lightning port.
  • Reply 11 of 64
    cyniccynic Posts: 124member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    It doesn't look anything like an Apple case, lol. Are we sure that's a Lightning connector and not micro-USB or something?



     


    I don't think there's any connector whatsoever, it's just a lightning or counterfeit cable stuffed in some "opening".

  • Reply 12 of 64
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    chandra69 wrote: »
    Did you mean iPod touch?

    Oops yes.
  • Reply 13 of 64
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackbook View Post



    3GS reincarnate.



    And no one wants to see an array of colorful PLASTIC phones. No one.


    I agree.......it makes me wonder why Apple would get into the low end phone market. They have always stayed away from low end products. It really does look like the 3GS......

  • Reply 14 of 64
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,510member
    chabig wrote: »
    Why is it that leakers can't focus cameras?

    The trouble with leakers is that they have no taste.
  • Reply 15 of 64
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chabig View Post


    Why is it that leakers can't focus cameras?



    Because they were in hurry so that no one would see them clicking it.

  • Reply 16 of 64
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    blackbook wrote: »
    I wonder why they wouldn't just make a case design similar to the Touch and iPhone 1G.

    I understand that the iPhone 5 has a complicated case manufacturing process which probably adds to cost but what about a simpler aluminum design with a plastic "window" for the wireless radios, similar to the iPhone 1G and iPod touch?

    But maybe Apple would use plastic as a differentiation from the 5, but I'm afraid that such a differentiation could cheapen Apple's brand.
    I suppose the argument would be that the 3G and 3GS were plastic. But it still seems odd. iPod touch isn't plastic. iPad mini arguably has a better design than full size iPad (which will probably get the mini design later this year). Is a plastic case that much cheaper? Or is Apple that worried about a lower cost phone cannibalizing the more expensive phone? Or are we seeing fake cases that have been made based on rumors of a cheaper plastic phone? Can't imagine it would be that hard to do. And this photo doesn't even have a logo or anything on the back.
  • Reply 17 of 64
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,991member


    It could be a camouflaging case hiding the real thing.

  • Reply 18 of 64
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    geekdad wrote: »
    I agree.......it makes me wonder why Apple would get into the low end phone market. They have always stayed away from low end products. It really does look like the 3GS......
    Assuming this an Apple prototype.
  • Reply 19 of 64
    geekdadgeekdad Posts: 1,131member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Assuming this an Apple prototype.


    That is true...we have no idea if this is real.....


    Hopefully just another grab for headlines.....

  • Reply 20 of 64
    bluenixbluenix Posts: 41member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by blackbook View Post



    I wonder why they wouldn't just make a case design similar to the Touch and iPhone 1G.



    I understand that the iPhone 5 has a complicated case manufacturing process which probably adds to cost but what about a simpler aluminum design with a plastic "window" for the wireless radios, similar to the iPhone 1G and iPod touch?

     


     


    The first iPhone was/is (in my eyes) still the most beautiful one. I could see them go to that direction. Make it a bit thicker so you can use a battery and other components that are a bit cheaper. But I am PRETTY sure, they will not release something THAT ugly, just to have something cheap to offer.


     


    Therfore I still doubt the whole "budget iPhone thing" a bit. Ramping up production for an entirely new iPhone would cost quite a lot, compared to just produce more of your "high end model" (marginal cost). So why not stick with your current scheme and offer last year's iPhone with a minimum of capacity, maybe less specs but in the same casing and sell it for less $$$. This price though has to come down further! 450 for an iPhone 4 is too high.


     


    Get a brand new model for 199 with a 2year plan. Or get last year's model for 399 without any plan. That should be a price at which it would also sell in markets like China, India etc.


     


    Something will happen with prices. The introduction of a new iPod Touch just ahead of WWDC is no coincident.

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